Twelve-year-old Odd doesn't quite fit in with the rest of his village. He crushed his leg when he was younger and that's left him with a limp. He'd rather be carving alone in the woods than hanging out in the hall with the other villagers fighting and telling stories. His stepfather is just awful.
So Odd just leaves one day. He's going to stay in the shack his dead father left behind. On his first day alone, he comes upon a bear, a fox, and an eagle who need help. As one must in fairy-ish stories, Odd helped them. Then he discovered that they needed more help defeating a frost giant that has taken over their home and made it eternally winter in Odd's village. Can the boy with the limp save the day?
I really liked this very short book. Odd is such a little fighter. Oh, not in the ways that the rest of his village fights, but just fighting for what he believes in and what's right. Fighting to grow into the man he wants to be, not the man he's expected to be.
While the story itself is good, I liked what I took away from it more. Odd never really let his crushed leg hold him back. He learned to work through problems rather than walk away from them. There's the art of compromise as well, and possibly a little about forgiveness.
The illustrations by Brett Helquist fit the story perfectly. A little rustic, they fit right into this story of Norway in the days of the Vikings. I love the book itself as well. A perfectly-sized little cloth-bound book, I could just hold it for hours. Do you have books like that? Ones that just feel like they're made for your hands?
Recommended for Gaiman fans, and those looking for something in the mythology/fairy tale realm.
Find author Neil Gaiman on his website for children, his blog, Twitter, and Facebook.
Buy Odd and the Frost Giants at
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